The Inspiration of a Glass Classroom

For nine months in 1915 in the city of San Francisco, the Panama Pacific International Exhibition hosted 18 million visitors from all over the world. They saw a Ford Model T assembly line, a model of the recently completed Panama Canal, brand new planes, new foods grown in California, and a glass classroom. Continue reading The Inspiration of a Glass Classroom

Young Originals: The importance of passion and play, the challenge of purpose

Wagner made me realize one of the reasons that I find these students so appealing – they cling to passion and play longer than most students. I have taught third and fifth grades, and most students have figured out how to play the school game by the time they have reached the age of 9. Young Originals, however, maintain their desire to find the humor and joy in the mundane.  Continue reading Young Originals: The importance of passion and play, the challenge of purpose

I’m annoyed and I blame it on Paul Solarz (because he is awesome)!

For the last two days, I’ve been reading Paul Solarz’s (that looks weird, I think it should be Solarz’) book Learn Like a Pirate. I am pretty sure he is the best fifth grade teacher ever. This bothers me for two reasons. One is that I am pretty sure I can never reach his skill level. And two, I just left my fifth grade classroom and feel like I need to go back right away to try out all of the things I just learned from his book. Continue reading I’m annoyed and I blame it on Paul Solarz (because he is awesome)!

Learning as the intersection of work and play, part 3: Queries, freedom, and bushwhacking

If we don’t challenge students with queries that dig deep, we limit ourselves in many ways. One is that we limit their ability to see themselves as critical thinkers, as capable of answering big questions. The second is that we limit the opportunity to hear their voices. As Shalaby says, the teacher is the outsider in a classroom of children, not the other way around. In a classroom of children, the restraint of children’s voices is chosen ignorance. Continue reading Learning as the intersection of work and play, part 3: Queries, freedom, and bushwhacking

Learning as the intersection of work and play, Part 2: Run for the race, not the finish line

Sometimes it’s important to run directly and cross the finish line, to test yourself, to gauge where you are. More often, however, it is critical to explore different routes, to try new strategies, review certain courses, to take the adventure where you need it to go. Continue reading Learning as the intersection of work and play, Part 2: Run for the race, not the finish line

What is learning? The intersection of work and play

As I have progressed as a teacher, the most valuable teaching and learning accomplished in my classroom have always felt like play, even when it is work. I think that true learning is the intersection of work and play. If the goal of teaching is to enhance learning, than our goal should be to create that intersection of work and play every day. Continue reading What is learning? The intersection of work and play